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Penningtons Manches Cooper adopts the Halo Code in support of ending hair discrimination

Posted: 27/05/2021


Penningtons Manches Cooper has signed up to implement the Halo Code across all of its UK and international offices.

Launched by Halo Collective, the Halo Code is a campaign pledge which seeks to build a future without hair discrimination and inequality in the workplace. Companies, organisations and schools that adopt the code are promising employees and students that they are fully in support of protecting and celebrating black hair and hairstyles within the workplace or classroom environment. Halo Collective also aims to raise awareness in wider society of the issues and barriers stemming from race-based hair discrimination.

Although it has been illegal since 2010, many people across the UK are still directly affected by race-based hair discrimination at work and at school. Halo Collective explains that due to written or unwritten rules that ban or look negatively upon certain hairstyles worn by the black community, individuals sometimes feel like they have to choose between ‘their education and career on the one hand, and their cultural identity and hair health on the other’. [1] Some one in four black adults have experienced a negative reaction at school in relation to the texture or style of their hair, and one in five black women feel societal pressure to straighten their hair for work. [2]        

The above statistics illustrate just how prevalent this issue remains. By adopting the Halo Code, Penningtons Manches Cooper is proud to be helping combat hair discrimination and championing the right of its staff to embrace all hairstyles. Those organisations that implement the code do so in recognition of Afro-textured hair being an important part of black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities that requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance. The code advocates the celebration of Afro-textured hair ‘worn in all styles including, but not limited to, afros, locs, twists, braids, cornrows, fades, hair straightened through the application of heat or chemicals, weaves, wigs, headscarves and wraps’. [3]

Andrea Law, HR director at Penningtons Manches Cooper, comments: “At the firm, we are committed to encouraging our colleagues to develop their careers while also developing themselves as individuals. Our community is based around a collaborative, supportive and inclusive workplace, and for us it follows as a given that hair texture and style have no influence over an employee’s career path or progression. We are proud to adopt the Halo Code to further communicate this view to all colleagues and as another step in continually pushing for equality and fairness at every level within the firm.”

Other organisations that have signed up in support of the Halo Code in the UK include Unilever, Dove, Procter & Gamble, Marks & Spencer and Linklaters.

 

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/55249674
[2] https://halocollective.co.uk/
[3] https://halocollective.co.uk/halo-workplace/


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP